QUETTA: Unidentified people kidnapped six football players from the Jani Bair area of the Dera Bugti district on Saturday. Officials said the players were abducted while on their way to Sibi from Dera Bugti.

“The players were residents of Dera Bugti and Sui. They were going to Sibi to take part in the qualifying round of the All Pakistan Chief Minister Gold Cup football tournament,” Dera Bugti’s deputy commissioner confirmed.

Official sources said armed men intercepted the vehicles in which the players were travelling in the Jani Bair area of the Kachhi canal of Dera Bugti and took the footballers away at gunpoint. Five of the six players were identified as Aamir Bugti, Faisal Bugti, Sohail Bugti, Yasar Bugti and Sheraz Bugti.

Balochistan’s caretaker home minister, Mir Zubair Ahmed Jamali, said security forces were dispatched to the area to launch a search and recover the kidnapped footballers as soon as possible.

Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti told Geo News late in the night that an operation was being planned to recover the players, but he added that details could not be shared. He said teams of Frontier Corps, deputy commissioner, commissioner and Levies Force were working to trace the suspects.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2023

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